The flight over was awful... two major delays got me stranded overnight in Detroit, but the airline gave me a hotel and meal voucher and it turned out ok as I was still able to make it to RennFest on Sunday as I had planned.
Becca and I drove out there through the beautiful Maryland countryside and my friends Janet and Mike met us there later that afternoon.
I kept trying to speak Korean to shopkeepers and random people I bumped into. I must have looked like an idiot, opening my mouth to say "감사합니디" and then closed it again and managing to mutter, "Thank you" instead.
After a pleasant afternoon with only one minor freakout at the Fest, being overwhelmed by the non-Asian-ness of it all, I headed down to Shady Grove to pick up Amanda and Good Man for dinner at my folks' house. This was a very nice evening. We got to talk about Korea vs. America to our hearts' content and my dad got to meet Amanda (he's been an "Afanda" for a long time).
The (almost) first words out of my mom's mouth when she saw me at the airport:
"You can't get married and stay in Korea. You can't have my grandchildren there."
Sigh. I know. I miss you, too, Mom. I understand your fears and worries, but let's chill out about this for right now, ok?
It was wonderful seeing my parents. They really are amazing people. And they've been so supportive of me here. But it was hard. After a year of being away, I really could see how unhealthy they are. And I'm terrified. They've both had some major health issues this past year (especially my dad... and, well, I don't want to think about that... I'm not ready to blog about that...). I feel guilty for being so far away, but what difference would it make if I was there? I don't know. It's just so hard to explain this. Especially when I know they read this blog, and I don't want to make them feel bad.
And Brian didn't show up until the last night I was there. I was so disappointed. Especially after my parents had been talking all year about how much better he is and all that.
Two weeks later, he got fired (his job downsized). Maybe he was depressed because he saw it coming, I don't know... but I just... I miss my little brother. I've missed him for a hell of a lot longer than the one year I've been in another country. Again, a whole other bag of worms I'm not ready to blog about (possibly ever).
I wish I'd had more time with all of them.
I woke up realizing that I'd lost my wallet--which was horrible since it had my passport in it. I located it in Becca's mom's car and it was recovered later that day.
I went shopping with Mom and Sarah. It was lots of fun. I am wearing size 10 jeans RIGHT NOW. And they're even a little loose. I'm getting in such good shape these days!
Then I crashed. I fell asleep at around 7 p.m. and slept until 7 a.m.
Anne came back from her trip abroad and we kidnapped my "brother" Sam to go play tourists in DC. We went to the spy museum. There are lots of silly pictures from this day in the album.
Sarah met up with us for coffee, where we spied on Greenpeace volunteers.
Then I safely returned Sam to his home and Anne and I met Becca at Pizzeria Uno's for a deliciously nostalgic meal and lovely conversation.
I'm lucky to have so many friends with whom I can just pick up with exactly wherever we left off in being able to talk and laugh and have fun with each other. Although I haven't seen many of these people in a year or more, they are my heart. Many of them helped me through significant difficulties at previous points in my life. It is hard to be away from them... but they are all off on their own adventures and there isn't really a geographically restricted area for my friendships.
Friends are friends, the world over. I have some here who will be probably be lifelong buds as well... I feel extremely blessed.
My time was short. There were so many friends I didn't get to see this time around. I wish I could have had more time for them.
This was the day I'd been looking forward to the most--sailing with Dad and Sarah! Nothing relaxes me like water. And the Chesapeake Bay is almost a part of my soul...
Again, tons of pictures in the album. You really should look at it. It's here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=55281&l=9a5be&id=671852306
There are even some captions AND if you're a facebook member you can make comments on them.
I'm glad I went. It wasn't enough time, and it definitely contributed to my wishy-washy feelings the last few weeks, and even though the plane ticket was paid for, it was a little expensive, but even so every moment was precious.
I wish I could have written this post better... but it's both too near and too far as a subject matter to do much justice.
I wish I'd had more time.